Saturday, January 21, 2012

Craft Stick Bracelets

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They are gorgeous aren't they? Who know that the humble craft stick could be transformed into something so lovely. I came across this on A Mom With a Lesson Plan and as soon as I got home from work we had to try it. We emulated Jill's idea of adding some science to the craft. First the girls and I observed the craft sticks with almost all our senses, we skipped tasting. Before boiling the sticks the girls found the sticks were hard, smooth, smell like wood, and make a sound when tapped on the table. A observed that different sized sticks made a different sound. After we observed we talked about what boiling does to foods - eggs get harder when cooked and spaghetti gets softer. A's hypothesis was that the sticks would get softer.

We boiled our sticks for 20 minutes as directed then pulled one out to test. We used our senses again to observe the craft sticks. After boiling 20 minutes the sticks were warm, wet, a little rough, still make a similar sound when tapped on a table, and were kind of bendy. The girls helped me with a little destructive testing on our stick - they bent it and although it was softer there was no getting it into a cup to shape it. They happily destroyed the stick while I continued boiling. They enjoyed how now the wood split apart at the grain instead of just breaking in half. After another 25 minutes we checked the sticks again - the craft sticks were much softer. The girls again worked on some destructive testing while I coaxed the sticks into our glasses forming the bracelet shape.

The next evening we worked on the more crafty part of the project. We tried a couple different ways of decorating the bracelets - watercolors, tempera paint, and paper. Watercolors were A's first choice as we have been using them on wood lately for a more stained effect. We broke them out and she went to work really enjoying herself and applying layer upon layer of WHITE!! Just so you know, white doesn't show up on wood. I suggested other colors, but she was determined and happy so she painted away. After about 15 minutes I took a look at her bracelet and it was almost uncurled. I called a halt to the water colors and placed the stick back in a cup to reform. After some discussion we decided that G would paint her bracelet with Tempera and that A and I would put pretty scrap book paper on ours.

We traced a flat craft stick onto our paper, cut it out, then adhered it with the Modge Podge.

After that dried for a few minutes we covered the entire bracelet with more Modge Podge thinking it would make it a little more resistant to water.

They turned out lovely - this is definitely a craft/science experiment we'll do again.

How do you play with science in your house?

Science Sunday


  1. Oh how easy. You make the bracelets and decorate how you want to. My daughter will love this.


  2. You only destroyed one in trying to make these? i'm impressed! Thanks for linking to Science Sunday.

  3. Glad you like the project, the girls and I had a lot of fun making these. If they don't bend at first, just keep boiling. Our boiled for a total of 45 minutes.